Simplified, straightforward, and incredibly well-engineered, the Carrera T offers both the purist and the tech-sensitive engineer no shortage of qualities to admire. Incredible ergonomics, stellar visibility, a direct steering system, good power, and a wonderful compromise for everyday usage make this Carrera T perfect for the discreet, discerning owners out there.
It’s obviously sharper and more focused than the base 911, but more subdued and more affordable than the riotous GT3. With more emphasis on driving pleasure, the Carrera T’s seven-speed manual engages the driver with a slick shift, perfect pedal location, and wonderfully informative steering. Perhaps the steering doesn’t writhe in your hands quite like that of the air-cooled cars, but the feedback is enough to encourage any driver over a bumpy backroad, which is perhaps where it’s at its best.
Compliant enough for the imperfections of the real world, but stiff enough to give the car a definite sense of purpose, it is one of the best for everyday usage. That’s reinforced by the retention of the standard 3.0-liter, 375-horsepower engine. Perhaps it’s wrong to say it feels normally aspirated since the torque hits its peak figure at 1,900 rpm, but it doesn’t have a violent surge which prevents the driver from leaning on the car through canyon roads. Linear and responsive, this turbocharged motor doesn’t feel turbocharged, and that makes it more engaging than some of the punchier powerplants higher up the lineup. Plus, with shorter gear ratios, it’s far from sluggish; with the sports exhaust as standard, it’s not hushed or muted like you might expect a turbocharged motor in a lesser model might be.
It may lack the outrageous performance and cachet of the GT lineup, but think of the practicality, the added engagement, and the amount of performance which most people can realistically appreciate. With less power and lower limits, it isn’t quite as intimidating as some of the faster members of the 911 family, and that is part of why it’s a wonderful machine. Is it a GT3 Lite? Not quite, but it does reflect some of that less-is-more mentality which made the old air-cooled cars so involving. As that sense of simplicity is something which seems less important every year, the Carrera T is a reminder of what really matters in a usable sports car.